Article 50 Extension

Part of Destitution Domestic Violence Concession (Eligibility) – in the House of Commons at 6:05 pm on 20th March 2019.

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Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Labour, Exeter 6:05 pm, 20th March 2019

I did not think it was possible to feel more outrage at or contempt for the behaviour of this Government and this Prime Minister. Mr Grieve said earlier that he had never felt so ashamed to be a Conservative MP; let me reassure him that this is not about party politics. I feel ashamed that we have a Prime Minister who is prepared to behave in this reckless and arrogant way, with total disregard and contempt for Parliament and the views of the majority of people in this country.

At this moment of maximum peril for the United Kingdom, we have a Prime Minister and a Government who resort to trickery, and who say one thing to Parliament and the public one day and do another thing the next. Most Members of this House are prepared to live up to our responsibilities and find a way out of this crisis. If the Government do not allow us to do that, Parliament will have to do it for ourselves.

My message for those Ministers in the Government whom we are told could not under any circumstances contemplate a crash-out no-deal Brexit, some of whom might be prepared to tolerate a less damaging, softer Brexit, or even a public vote, is that the next few days are their chance finally to stand up and be counted and to do what is in the national interest. They have been played. They have been had by this Prime Minister. They have put their trust in her and she has betrayed them. The next few days will be the moment of truth for them: will they finally do what they need to do in the national interest to prevent this kamikaze Prime Minister from driving this country to destruction, for which she and they will never be forgiven?